5 Jul 2019

How to Shape the Migration and Asylum Policy?

Masterclass 2


The debate on migration is omnipresent in France, in Europe, but also in the United States and even in Australia. This debate intervenes in times of globalization in a time of social and identity tensions in the Western world of which it is a component, or a catalyst. It feeds itself with compared demographic prospects, that are more or less alarmist, particularly between Europe and Africa.

In Europe, after more than one million arrivals in 2015, mainly due to the conflict in Syria, crossings of the Mediterranean have declined significantly since 2018, returning to their pre-2014 level. However, the European political crisis around migration continues. These issues also remain extremely sensitive in the United States, particularly regarding the relations with Latin America, but also in Australia.

On a multilateral level, the adoption at the end of 2018 of a Global Compact on Migration in Marrakech within the framework of the United Nations crystallized these debates around the migration approach.

Migrations matches with a double reality that is well known from the point of view of developed countries of destination. They are either a duty – as part of the obligations arising from the right of asylum codified since the 1951 Geneva Convention – or the needs of the economy. A double paradox is at work, particularly in Europe. On the one hand, these debates are growing, while Europe has favoured for several decades a restrictive migration policy that is facing implementation difficulties.

On the other hand, these policies and debates are unfolding, while the needs of developed economies in terms of manpower are constantly increasing in line with demographic decline, particularly in Europe. But Japan’s situation highlights that some societies seem to favour a form of cultural homogeneity over their growth potential.

We will then examine how to think, in this context of tensions, mainly from the point of view of developed countries of destination but also of countries of origin and transit, about migration and asylum policy, particularly in Europe, from the dual point of view of exercising the obligations to protect persecuted or fleeing conflict individuals, as well as meeting the needs of economies.





Cercle des économistes



Pascal BRICE

Former Director


All the speakers